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Dateline: Week Of August, 15, 2009 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment  & Fascinating Facts 

 

In The News -

Somali pirates fired grenades and automatic weapons at an American freighter loaded with food aid but the ship managed to escape the attack and was heading Wednesday to Kenya under U.S. Navy guard, officials said.

Despite President Barack Obama's vow to halt their banditry and the deaths of five pirates in recent French and U.S. hostage rescue missions, brigands seized four vessels and more than 75 hostages off the Horn of Africa since Sunday's dramatic rescue of an American freighter captain. Picture is pirates making their escape. That brought the total number of sailors being held by Somali pirates to over 300 on 17 different ships — a distinct surge in the number of captives over the last few days.

President Barack Obama travels to meet with his Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderon, as the U.S. and one of its biggest economic partners grapple with a trade standoff and escalating violence stemming from drug trafficking. Obama begins his first trip as president to Latin America in Mexico City, where he and Calderon are likely to discuss border security, a conflict over Mexican trucks delivering goods inside the U.S., the global economic crisis and energy-related issues, including climate change.

New jobless claims fell more than expected for the second straight week, but the number of Americans continuing to receive unemployment insurance benefits rose above 6 million for the first time.

Citigroup lost money and General Electric's profits fell, but both beat Wall Street's expectations as investors look for further signs that the economy has begun to stabilize. Citigroup Inc. reported its smallest loss since 2007. The bank on Friday posted a first-quarter loss to common shareholders of $966 million after massive loan losses and dividends to preferred stockholders. However, before paying those dividends, which were tied to the government's investment in Citigroup, the bank earned $1.6 billion.

President Barack Obama said on Saturday he would soon announce the elimination of dozens of wasteful or ineffective government programs as part of a broad effort to restore fiscal accountability to the federal budget.

Obama, speaking in his weekly radio address, said he would use his first full Cabinet meeting on Monday to ask department and agency heads for specific proposals for trimming their budgets.

Somali pirates attacked two ships off the Horn of Africa on Saturday, capturing a Belgian dredger and its 10 crew. NATO forces intervened in the other assault, chasing the pirates down and freeing 20 fisherman on a Yemeni dhow. The high-seas attacks underscored the dangers in waters off Somalia and east Africa despite the best efforts of an international flotilla that includes warships from the United States and the European Union. Pirates from anarchic, clan-ruled Somalia have attacked more than 80 boats this year and hold 16 ships and over 290 crew members hostage.

President Barack Obama is wrapping up a summit with other leaders in the Western Hemisphere on Sunday the same way he began it: Pledging to reshape the image of the U.S. as a humble partner in addressing problems throughout the region. "I look forward to hearing more about how the United States can be an effective partner," Obama said just before meeting with leaders from Central American countries. At the Summit of the Americas on the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, the president was hopeful that he'd boosted the image of the U.S. among its friends in the region — and perhaps even made some new ones. Among those seemingly charmed by the president's promise of a new, more equal partnership was Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, the fiery leftist who famously likened former President George W. Bush to the devil.

A gunman forced his way though airport security and hijacked a Canadian jet near Montego Bay, holding six crew members hostage for eight hours before police and soldiers stormed the aircraft on Monday and captured the man.

Nobody was killed or injured in the ordeal, which ended with a raid near daylight after talks broke down with a 20-year-old Jamaican hijacker described as "mentally challenged."

 President Barack Obama ordered his Cabinet to find ways to slice spending by $100 million, but acknowledged it's a "drop in the bucket" and said there's a "confidence gap" that he needs to overcome. Just back from a Latin America summit, Obama told the first formal Cabinet meeting of his administration that vast spending to combat the economic crisis was "the right thing to do." But he also said taxpayers still need to know that every dollar they give the government is being spent wisely.

Investigators have opened a criminal probe into whether someone poisoned 21 polo horses that died during preparations for a match in the sport's top championship in Florida, officials said. The horses from a Venezuelan-owned Lechuza Polo team began collapsing Sunday as they were unloaded from trailers at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, with some dying at the scene and others hours later at stables or clinics. State investigators believe the horses died from an adverse drug reaction, toxins in their food or supplements, or a combination of the two.

 

Business News – April 15, 2009

Bank of America Corp. posted strong first quarter results Monday, as higher revenue from the purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. help offset a surge in credit costs. The results surpassed analysts' expectations, and provide further evidence the banking sector might be improving. But the bank also took a hefty $13.4 billion provision for credit losses and its shares fell 80 cents, or 7.5 percent, to $9.80 in premarket trading.

 

Technology News – April 15, 2009

Information technology company Oracle Corp. said Monday it is buying Sun Microsystems Inc. in a cash deal the company valued at $7.4 billion after IBM abandoned its bid to buy the networking equipment maker.

Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle will buy Sun shares for $9.50 each in cash. The price represents a 42 percent premium to Sun's Friday closing stock price of $6.69. Net of Sun's cash and debt, the transaction is valued at $5.6 billion, Oracle said. IBM had offered to buy Sun for $9.40 per share, but acquisition talks fell apart earlier this month. Sun balked at the price and canceled IBM's exclusive negotiating rights, leading IBM to withdraw its offer.

 

Entertainment/Celebrity/Television/Movie News – April 15, 2009

Jamie Foxx – who does a Howard Stern-type show on Sirius Satellite Radio – apologizes for remarks made about Miley Cyrus. On his Foxxhole show Sunday. Foxx -- who has a teenage daughter -- cracked that Cyrus, 16, needs "to get a gum transplant ... make a sex tape ... do some heroin." His other insults were too vulgar to reprint. “I so apologize ... and this is sincere. I am a comedian, and you guys know that whatever I say, I don't mean any of it," said Foxx on the Tonight show. On Bonny Hunt’s TV talk show dad Billy Ray said, "It was hurtful. There wasn't nothing funny about it. And, quite frankly, I think if I said those things about his daughter, he might not find it so comedic."

 American Idol Happenings - Under the mentorship of film director Quentin Tarantino, the contestants chose songs from films. Lil Rounds, who performed the Bette Midler song, "The Rose," with an R&B flair, ended in hot water with judge Simon Cowell. “I think that you're getting this completely wrong," Simon said after the one-time standout finished her number. "The song was too soft for you. It was completely middle of the road. You had some nice moments in there, but there's no excuses any more. You are not the artist I believe we met seven or eight weeks ago. I'm getting frustrated."

After weeks of dismal scores, former Jackass star Steve-O was booted from the "Dancing With the Stars" ballroom Tuesday. The 34-year-old reality star and his professional partner, Lacey Schwimmer, were eliminated from the hit ABC show after earning the week's lowest score, 16 points out of 30, for their rumba. "You can't confuse movement with dancing," said head judge Len Goodman. "There was no hip action, there was no footwork and it was no good."

 

Radio News – April 15, 2009

Radio station owner Clear Channel is making it clear – it is in the syndication business. It’s A-list of personalities – such as Ryan Seacrest and Elvis Duran – are available to voice track on all Clear Channel stations – in many cases, taking the place of a local personality (this saves lots of money). This seems to be the way of the future Clear Channel has a national B list personality as well – and Clear channel stations can chose to “hire” any DJ for “Ipod” voicetracking on their stations. Here’s an announcement this week, although it’s not new to those in the industry: 

 According to a press release, local Clear Channel program directors will have total choice and flexibility in choosing the Premium Choice programming elements such as Ryan Seacrest and other Clear Channel personalities. They can elect large portions, single pieces, or none of the offered programming. “These improvements have been part of the company’s long-term strategy to strengthen its competitive position,” added Hogan. “We’re accelerating these pieces because of the undeniable competitive opportunity presented by this market,” he said.

Ryan Seacrest may be one of the hardest-working men in Hollywood but last week he took time out from his gig as a host of On Air with Ryan Seacrest for a romantic jaunt to Paris with L.A. bartender Jasmine Waltz. Seacrest, 34, met Waltz during a night out at Guy's, a West Hollywood lounge. Waltz, who has previously worked at other L.A. hotspots including Les Deux and Italian restaurant Bella, is an aspiring actress. "They've been together for a few months now," says the source. After wrapping his American Idol duties last week, Seacrest whisked Waltz off to Paris for a weekend where the couple displayed a lot of PDA.

Ryan Seacrest, music’s number one radio host with a weekly worldwide audience estimated at more than 20 million, will expand the nationally syndicated On Air with Ryan Seacrest to include a fourth hour of programming beginning May 4.  His syndicated show was launched nearly a year ago on 50 radio stations and is now in 130 markets.

 

Entertainment/Celebrity News - August 15, 2009

One day after she was plunked on the head by Bill Murray's wayward tee shot, Gayle DiMaggio had a request: a signed copy of his movie "Caddyshackhe actor, meanwhile, was back on the course Saturday for the second round of the Outback Pro-Am. And the course marshals took no chances: They wore hard hats. DiMaggio lives on the course where Murray hooked his shot far to the left of the No. 9 hole at TPC Tampa Bay. She was hit on the left temple Friday as she stood in her backyard to watch the first round. She never lost consciousness but needed stitches at a hospital.

Falls off a horse – again! - Madonna is under the care of doctors after falling off a horse over the weekend an accident she is blaming on the paparazzi. A representative for the superstar said Madonna suffered "minor injuries" after she fell while horseback riding in the Hamptons, a playground for the rich and famous on the eastern end of Long Island, N.Y. "The accident occurred when the horse Madonna was riding was startled by paparazzi who jumped out of the bushes to photograph the singer, who was visiting friends," Liz Rosenberg said in a statement. Madonna was thrown from a horse back in 2005 and received more severe injuries.

 

Top TV Shows – April 15, 2009

 

1.

American Idol" (Wednesday)

FOX

2.

American Idol" (Tuesday)

FOX

3.

Dancing with the Stars

ABC

4.

NCIS

CBS

5.

NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Michigan St. vs. North Carolina

CBS

6.

The Mentalist

CBS

7.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

CBS

8.

Dancing with the Stars Results

ABC

9.

Criminal Minds

CBS

10.

House

FOX

11.

60 Minutes

CBS

12.

CSI: NY

CBS

13.

Without a Trace

CBS

14.

Prelude to a Championship

CBS

15.

Surviving Suburbia

ABC

16.

Survivor: Tocantins

CBS

17.

24

FOX

18.

Amazing Race 14

CBS

19.

Cold Case

CBS

20.

Harper's Island

CBS

 

 

Saturday night TV listing/TV Guide – Week Of April 15, 2009

Food Network has a Chopped marathon all night.

MTV2 has a Life of Ryan marathon all night.

CSPAN2 has new episodes of Book TV all night.

At 8, NBC has a new Kings.

FOX has the Subway Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR race at 8.

At 9, CNBC has a new Suze Orman Show.

National Geographic Channel has two new episodes of Wrecked starting at 9.

At 10, CBS has a new 48 Hours Mystery.

HBO has a new Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7 at 10.

At 11:30, NBC has a "Best of Amy Poehler" Saturday Night Live.

 

 Sunday night TV listing/TVGuide – Week Of April 15, 2009

At 7, ABC has a new America's Funniest Home Videos.

CBS has a new 60 Minutes at 7, then a new Amazing Race and the movie The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler.

NBC has the Miss USA 2009 Pageant at 7, followed by a new Celebrity Apprentice.

At 8, FOX has a new Simpsons, then the series premiere of Sit Down, Shut Up and new episodes of Family Guy and American Dad.

There's a new Challenge on Food Network at 8.

ABC Family has the movie My Fake Fiance at 8.

Also at 8: HBO has a new No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, followed by two new episodes of In Treatment.

At 8:30, Disney has a new Wizards of Waverly Place.

At 9, ABC has a new Desperate Housewives, then a new Brothers & Sisters.

PBS has a new Masterpiece Classic at 9.

USA has the season premiere of Law and Order: CI at 9, then the season premiere of In Plain Sight.

GSN has a new High Stakes Poker at 9.

Nickelodeon has a new Nick News at 9.

G4 has a new G4 Underground at 9.

Showtime has a new episode of The Tudors at 9, then a new Tracey Ullman's State of the Union.

At 10, AMC has a new Breaking Bad.

At 11:45, Cartoon Network has a new Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

At 1am, Cartoon Network has a new Mighty Boosh

 

 

Top Pop Hits – April 15, 2009

Poker Face – Lady GaGa

Right Round – Flo Rida

Gives You Hell – All American Rejects

Dead And Gone – T.I. Feat. Justin Timberlake

My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson

 You Found Me – Fray

Kiss Me Through The Phone – Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em Feat Sammie

Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas

Sober – Pink

How Do You Sleep? – Jesse McCartney Feat. Ludacris

Beautiful – Akon

Circus – Britney Spears

If You Seek Amy – Britney Spears

Love Sex Marriage – Ciara Feat. Justin Timberlake

Blame It – Jaimie Foxx Feat. T-Pain

Just Dance – Lady GaGa Feat. Colby O’Donis

Second Chance – Shinedown

Halo – Beyonce

The Climb – Miley Cyrus

Love Story –Taylor Swift

 

Hot Country – April 15, 2009

Don’t Think I Can’t Love You – Jake Owen

Here Comes Goodbye – Rascal Flatts

It’s America – Rodney Atkins

Nothin’ To Die For – Tim McGraw

I Told You So – Carrie Underwood Feat. Randy Travis

It’s Won’t Be Like This For Long – Darius Rucker

It Happens – Sugarland

River of Love – George Strait

Wild Horse – Taylor Swift

Ride – Martina McBride

Kiss A Girl – Keith Urban

One In Every Crowd – Montgomery Gentry

Shuttin’ Detroit Down – John Rich

 

Hot Alternative Rock – April 15, 2009

Lifeline – Papa Roach

Feel Good Drag – Anberlin

Audience of One – Rise Against

Brother – Pearl Jam

Careless Whisper – Seether

Dirt Room – Blue October

Sometime Around Midnight – Airborne Toxic Event

Panic Switch – Silversun Pickups

Kids – MGMT

Second Chance – Shinedown

Sex On Fire – Kings of Leon

 

Top movies – April 15, 2009

17 Again

State of Play

Monsters vs. Aliens

Hannah Montana the Movie

Fast and Furious

Crank High Voltage

Observe and Report

Knowing

I Love You, Man

The Haunting in Connecticut

Dragonball Evolution

Adventureland

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